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Officials urge Montrealers to avoid Santa Cabrini hospital ER after COVID-19 outbreak

An outbreak of COVID-19 at Santa Cabrini's hospital emergency room has prompted a massive screening operation. Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. Sylvain Trudeau/Global News

Health officials are asking Montrealers to avoid Santa Cabrini hospital’s emergency room as it grapples with an outbreak of COVID-19.

The CIUSSS de l’Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, the regional health authority responsible for the hospital, said on Friday that while services will be maintained at the ER, people with minor health problems are being asked to visit a medical clinic, contact their family doctor or call the provincial health line at 811.

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The CIUSSS said staff who tested positive for the novel coronavirus were quickly removed from the workplace and have been replaced as they recover from the illness.

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A massive COVID-19 screening operation of all ER staff and doctors is currently underway to identify any additional infections.

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A team is also looking at identifying any prolonged contacts

“We are taking the situation very seriously. We were able to react quickly and all efforts were put in place to stop this outbreak as quickly as possible,” said Sylvain Lemieux, president and CEO of the CIUSSS.

Health officials said that additional protective measures have been put in place to eliminate the presence of the virus including increased cleaning and disinfecting.

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Staff are also monitoring ER patients’ symptoms more frequently.

The CIUSSS is reminding people with flu-like symptoms, gastrointestinal problems or other coronavirus-related symptoms to dial 514-644-4545 to be directed to the appropriate resources.

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